Reflections on Stronghold

Good afternoon, friendships:.

Last night, I played the stronghold beta and since none of the other writers have tackled it, yet, I will do my best to ramble on about my recent roams. #alliterationFTM

Thought the feeling is unoriginal, I feel I can compare it to League of Legends or Smite. There is an attacking lane and a defending lane (two lanes total for two teams) and a supply depot in the middle. Each team has a lord and two gates. Since there was no established meta, I played my assassin longbow ranger to great effect in the defense. Taking perch on a ledge, high above the first friendly gate, and raining down two-thousand damage arrows on the Skritt sappers that were attempting to destroy my base.

What struck me as interesting in this game mode is how unique it is within the Guild Wars universe. It focuses more on supporting NPCs than killing enemy players; enemy players cannot break down gates, rip lords apart, or OHK sappers. Indeed, speed and support seemed to be far superior to anything else.

Using speed, one can run supply very quickly to spam sappers in the early game and archers in the late game. Indeed, the new meta builds will be different from anything before, though likely similar to WvW roaming builds. Conditions will likely be making a comeback (condition damage stacking changes withheld) due to the relatively high HP value of all NPCs and their lack of cleansing. There is no NPC that a single character can burst down. The whole game felt like one of tower defense and having a good commander will be key in the future.

Defense seemed unimportant. I found the best strategy was to have 1 fast DPS intercepting enemy sappers, while the rest of the team went offense. The only value I can see in having a tank build is late game, when attacking the enemy lord; dying in that phase is costly due to the time it takes to run to the enemy base, so any lost DPS from being tanky would be made up for simply by not dying.

I cannot wait to play more of this game mode…let alone HoT. Laslty, did anyone else notice that the Dreamer (super pony shortbow) and rainbow unicorn finisher have cutie marks? I did. /][\

One comment

  1. Good write up. I’ve definitely definitely noticed that rangers are very useful to have around for Stronghold matches and definitely agree with your point about speed and condi damage.

    However I disagree about defense being unimportant – we did some matches where by defending we managed to win. One instance in particular was that both our and their lord were under attack. I was helping with another teammate to defend our lord (the Lord has a downed state and you can even revive them from it!) and reviving him continuously. Eventually their lord was finally defeated and we won!

    Defending the supply depot can also be incredibly effective. Cut off the enemy team from being able to get supplies back to their barracks and you’ve pretty much assured victory.

    I have a feeling we’ll be talking a lot about this on the podcast this week!

    (PS – Yes with the cutie marks! Although the Dreamer’s cutie mark is the ArenaNet logo [unless that recently changed?] and the finisher’s cutie mark is your guild logo)

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